He looks pointedly at his toes. He has the disaffected air of someone who believes he deserves more sex.

*New story – warning – this won’t be to everyone’s tastes!*


This one’s fastidious when it comes to soaping himself. There’s no crevice under his armpits, no follicle on his groin that doesn’t feel his heavy touch. From this height, I can see it all. Ten minutes he takes, but he still smells of gefilte fish.

There’s an Italian or Spaniard. I don’t see many like that in here. They’ll circle him soon enough. This is all about the show, his need to feel eyes staring at him under the spray. I’ll oblige, I’ll indulge his need to show off.

The one who smells of fish is like clockwork. His name is Gershom and he doesn’t mind who he tells. As soon as the Sabbath Havdalah candles are extinguished and dusk falls in his Hendon synagogue, he walks his wife Hannah home. But that doesn’t have to mean the end of the night.

Practically a kid, this one stepping in. He looks pointedly at his toes. He has the disaffected air of someone who believes he deserves more sex. Should he have a pedicure? He seems to be in doubt the way he keeps peering at his delicate toes. Taiwan is not Chinese, he’s gently reminding someone.

A fourth guy has a sniffle. I wish he would bloody wipe his nose.

Gershom seems to detect irony everywhere. He’s commenting on the industrial look of this place. He’s now referring to Zyklon B. He just commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. As if that’s a turn-on, telling us all that! ‘It was a sombre service’, he rubs himself again. ‘There soon won’t be any survivors left to tell their story.’ And now, he presses my button a fifth time.

There are others on the landing, gawking, slouching, all of them in flip-flops. Waiting their turn. The shuffling man, Arnold, refused a pair of sandals on entry. He hasn’t cut his toenails in months. His face is obscured, spare his pair of thick-lensed spectacles. It’s evidently too much bother for him to step out now, the poor man will feel too cold. And that slip of a towel hardly covers his waist.

Gershom sees the young guy with the wispy hair. Others want a peek. Jay. That’s what the boy calls himself. He could be a student at King’s College down the road, a social sciences undergraduate, or someone.

Rafael catches sight of his skeletal reflection in a side mirror. He has a flag of St Jordí on his thigh. So, he must be a Spaniard. Okay, Catalán. Hard to work out. Seems to be reassuring himself. If this doesn’t get going, he will log on to Grindr. Take my word. And you know what, it’s a Saturday, in south east London. There’s plenty of time yet.

Gershom swivels to greet someone he likes the look of. This one has livelier eyes.

There’s a fog of bodies, but Gershom sees how easily they part to let the man pass. Just like the Red Sea: is that imagery apt? But this isn’t quite the mikveh my Jewish friend ought to be visiting. Tonight he might get wet under the slobbery sperm of gentiles. Tomorrow, though, he better go elsewhere to wash away his sins.

Jay knows he’s fit, he also knows these guys around him aren’t. Well, what else explains his moody look? Personally, I love looking at him. It’s why I do this job.

Gershom’s done now, he wants to prowl. ‘What a fucking beard!’, he hears a shriek of a voice. ‘They’re letting all sorts in here these days, first a fucking granddad, and now Karl Marx!’.

The first door I can just about make out. Gershom opens it to reveal PVC strip curtains, dripping from the condensation of the Turkish bath. Neon blue filters from the corridor, someone walks in behind. A hand reaches for his crotch. I can hardly believe it’s Gershom that Rafael’s keen on.

Gershom raises his hand to Rafael’s face, but there’s stubble, he steps back. It’s like his mother’s cheeks when he kisses her at the beginning of Shabbat.

Jay’s revelling in having all this space to himself. He lathers up again, staring at his reflection in a mirror suspended near to where I’m sat. He starts to twiddle his pink, pert nipples. All under my cascade. He clearly wants Rafael to fuck him, but who knows where the Mediterranean’s head is at? A new man comes by with a Scandinavian look. Does Jay want him to stroke his chest?

Gershom steps under the shower alongside. So soon – I thought I had got rid of the twit. Hannah will be making dinner for him, so he can’t be back too late. He can’t afford taking her out, not with what he owes his parents-in-law. Yes, like I said, he’s a talker. I’m amazed he can afford the entrance fee. But then again, wasn’t it only a month ago he brought a prostitute in here and paraded him about?

Jay looks up at the ceiling and touches his cock. He’s got to find a way to cum tonight. The Scandinavian might be his ticket.

Sweeping back the thin hair that remains, Arnold touches his crown and fingers shampoo into his roots. Then he sees him. Rafael. From beyond, but another man seems to be in tow.

I hope they’re not heading to where I think they are, locked away in a cubicle of their own. Past the jacuzzi, they take a swift right. It’s stunningly dark. Cheap. I don’t agree to their every whim, and frankly I don’t like to imagine what goes on in there.

Gershom looks on and feels a squelch beneath his bare feet. He shakes off a condom and its disposessed packet from where Jay has just thrown it, missing the bin.

‘Doggie,’ he hears. It’s not obvious who the instruction is being barked at but the Scandinavian responds.

Arnold’s spectacles drop to the ground. He waxes his hands against the tiled wall to regain his strength. All he feels is the touch of stray limbs. There’s a traffic jam of hands and feet, criss-crossing and filling the available space. He sits down on a stool and squints, trying to maximise the tiny shard of light reflecting from someone’s mobile phone.

He sees Rafael, so does Gershom. They notice his white smile and move in closer but find their hands are slapped back.

Gershom is doing that thing with his eyes again, lost in space. Probably visualising Hannah’s eyes when she undresses him later, confused and blue, beneath her wig.

Crouching, Arnold cradles Jay’s torso to prevent it from slipping. And to think, I try and keep this space so spic and span.

‘Yes, fuck me with that big cock,’ Gershom hears. The grunts get louder. Gershom tries to reach over, others have joined in, each of them claiming some part of Jay’s sweating skin. They’re under me now, a fountain.

Sitting still, all Arnold can see are the pairs of sandals the men are stood in, thrusting pistons. ‘Fuck, that’s good,’ he hears Rafael’s accent, and wants to run. Not home, but far.

Gershom presses me again, a drizzle. Thing is, I’m done.


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